So many people say to us, “Jauntie, it must be so cool to be a travel writer!” Well, it is pretty cool, but we always tell them, “You too can be a travel writer. All you need to do is travel and write.”
Of course, then they want to know ‘How To Become a Rich Travel Writer That Jets Off to Amazing Places and Meets Other Amazing Travel Writers,’ but the truth is this… there are no rich travel writers! Making a living as a travel writer is another story altogether, particularly in the Digital Age when so much amazing information is available for free… online. Just like ours!
Plus, it’s not always as glamourous as it sounds. Sometimes, you’re stuck on a press trip with five weirdoes who complain about having to crack their own crab. There is no such thing is an ‘ideal job.’ That said, we came across a book that just might help your creative spirits soar.
After all, how often have you been stuck in an airport while your flight is delayed or waiting restlessly in the queue for your plane to take off? Air travel is notoriously unpredictable and uncomfortable.
So, rather than compulsively texting or channel surfing, writing coach Jill Dearman, author of Bang the Keys: Four Steps to a Lifelong Writing Practice suggests a productive and pleasurable alternative: write, traveler, write! Bang the Keys is a like a writing workshop in a book. Dearman says, “Many writers feel liberated to bang out some quick, creative prose while traveling. The stimuli of being on the road is very energizing. There’s so much to see and write about, and it’s a great ‘in between time’ to tap into one’s imagination. And for those who don’t necessarily self-identify as writers, it’s a great time to just connect with the self, which is what writing essentially is, and tell their own stories, which may end up on a blog or in a travel magazine.” Offering writing exercises that can be done while cramped into an airplane seat, all one needs is a notebook and pen or a computer and a desire to connect with oneself.
In-flight exercises include:
• FYI: Finding Your (Best) Idea, which allows you to play good cop/bad cop in your thoughts and pretend your idea is a suspect you are interrogating.
• Three Minute Miracle Meditation, which involves meditation in an airplane seat and an open mind to reduce writer’s block
• Quickies To Uncover Artful & Charming Keys To Structure, which has the writer bullet point the plot of their favorite story and examine it to apply structure to their own piece.
Bang the Keys is also filled with great reading about the craft of writing and the experiences of writers famous and unknown, living and dead.
Dearman’s prose has been published in North Atlantic Review, Lilith, The Portland Review, New York Stories, and numerous other literary magazines. Dearman’s arts and culture features have been published in the New York Daily News, Time Out New York, Publishers Weekly, and many other publications. Her books, Queer Astrology for Men and Queer Astrology for Women (both from St. Martin’s) were on the gay best-seller lists for over a year.